Sunday, June 28, 2015

Design window Monday

This weekend I began sorting and measuring my green and purple fabrics and sewing them together in bits and pieces.

There is really no place in my house I can lay them out while deciding what to put where.

The upper left corner and the lower right corner are together and am still interviewing scraps and measuring  and pinning and sewing.

Once I decide what to put where, I can use the sections as take-along work. Everything was drawn out on graph paper but I am altering the plans as I go out of necessity ... why cut and sew if I can find something that fits ?  So far, so good, and I am able to fit in those purples that are toward the red side as well as the bluer ones. The batik segments help work things out.

Saturday afternoon Nikko and I took a very long walk looking for more mulberry leaves. Many of those trees I had been relying on were cut down while I was at camp. They grow fast once they get established and are considered weeds or "Junk trees". Once they begin to grow, the new branches can reach over a meter and then they get noticed and cut down.

When I returned, some of the caterpillars had moved into the apartments I had created Friday night by toilet paper tubes cut in thirds.

Today all three apartment blocks had critters moving in, though there are still a few chomping. I am relieved that it seems I will have enough supply of leaves to get them through their last phase.

Notice how those critters seem to like the upper stories. I doubt it is for the view but I am thinking of flipping the section once the top is full.

Someone asked what I would do with the cocoons. Of course I have no plans to weave silk.

I tape those inside a large paper bag and clip it closed.

When the cocoons hatch, the moths are big and fat with short stubby wings and cannot fly. They sit in the bag and wait.When a moth of the opposite sex hatches out, they get very excited and flap the wings, walking to join the partner and mate. They mate, lay eggs on the side of the bag, and die.

I will cut out the egg patches and put them in a zip-lock bag, and stick them in the back of the vegetable drawer in the fridge until next May when the trees brake out with new leaves.

The cocoons can be used for crafts and finger puppets. A few cocoons fail to hatch out and a few caterpillars have died along the way. I have to be careful to protect them from ants that often get into the house. I did find a small ant along with one dead caterpillar and know from experience they can kill a whole tray over night. I saw some reporting on CNN while working today about silk worm production. I saw the man giving whole branches rather than single leaves ... but I knew that. I would have liked to ask about how they keep the critters safe from ants ... but that topic didn't come up.

Aren't they cute?

Maybe you don't like bugs but they are soft and cool to the touch and completely helpless...

Here they sit, quietly munching,
or perhaps inspecting an apartment,

relying totally on my ability to spot a mulberry leaf poking out of a hedge or along a park wall ...

To pick the good ones and wash them and keep them fresh in the fridge ... noticing when they need more...
Nice to have a pet that is not dropping hair all over the house either.


  1. I am enjoying learning about your silk worms - and watching them change. I thought for sure you were going to make some silk.

  2. I didn't know they had such a short life after maturity. But it's exciting to see that transformation, isn't it. Looking forward to seeing the next stage.

  3. This has been fascinating to watch as they grow. Love the apartments you have created.
    Your quilt backing is looking wonderful. It will work so well with the quilt top.

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